Mid-career professionals driven by growth and the desire to give back can provide value for others – and themselves – through the community-driven mentorship.
When you think of mentorship, what do you think of? Is it a top-down, one-to-one relationship based on the company hierarchy?
Traditional mentorship consisted of something like this – you strictly fit the role of the mentee (an early-career professional looking for advice) or the mentor (seasoned veteran in the twilight of their career, ready to share their wisdom gained over decades in the industry).
Not anymore. It’s time to flip the script with community-driven mentorship.
Community-driven mentorship means that the full community participates in the practice of mentorship. This means everyone can both be a mentor and have a mentor depending on the context of one’s career experiences. Sound like you? If so, you’re probably what we call a “Give & Getter” mentor.
Give & Getter mentors are mid-level professionals who want to give back to the next generation of underrepresented talent while simultaneously establishing themselves as leaders ready to take the next step in their careers. If you identify with this persona, you’re driven equally by growth and giving. Your presence is especially important in the development of underrepresented young professionals, who have traditionally been marginalized or deterred from certain career achievements.
There’s a tangible benefit to this middle ground. Mentors are six times more likely to receive promotions, while mentees are five times more likely to get a raise, according to a study from Sun Microsystems. You have the unique opportunity to gain from both angles.
The mentorship economy – the essential exchange of experiences within a community to help everyone advance their careers and grow their skill sets – provides meaningful opportunities for Give & Getters mentors. There’s a constant need for community-driven mentorship, and mentorship provides multiple ways to leverage your experience for career advancement.
How do you know you’re a Give & Getter mentor?
Give & Getter mentors encompass a wide range of age and experience levels. There are, however, a few major qualities that they share:
You’re in the middle of your career arc.
As long as you’re not just entering the workforce, or nearing retirement, you’ll likely fall in the Give & Getter category. At this point in your career, you’ve acquired enough experience to provide valuable insights to the mentorship community, but still have unaccomplished objectives and a desire to grow your career.
You have valuable experience to offer young professionals.
Here’s where the “Give” comes into play. Consider mentorship as a function of shared experience. Each experience you share can educate, empower, and validate others. Give & Getters have achieved a certain level of success – enough that they bring a valuable perspective.
You crave leadership opportunities and want to take the next step in your career.
There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of “Get!” To start, there are major benefits of cross-generational mentorship: you might learn just as much from a younger professional as they will from you.
Mentoring also makes you a better leader, which of course is a significant advantage for your career. A study from non-profit America Needs You (ANY) showed that 90% of professionals that worked with first-generation college students felt that they became a better leader or manager at work because of their experience.
This reinforces the need for, and value of, community-driven mentorship within underrepresented and marginalized communities.
You’re a leader in your personal and professional life.
Mentorship doesn’t stop when you log off your work computer. Community-driven mentorship means providing value to more than just your company. Give & Getters have a desire to extend their impact far beyond the four walls of their office or cubicle.
A Give & Getter mentor’s role in the mentorship economy
The mentorship economy centers around what we like to call career currency. Mentors and mentees engage in reciprocal partnerships that are defined by shared life experiences. Through their interactions, these professionals are creating career wealth and value in the form of new connections, skills, opportunities, and behavioral development.
The Give & Getter sees improvement, both personally and for the mentorship economy at-large, as a major goal.
Added value for underrepresented communities
A study from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations suggests that mentorship programs increased minority representation at management level by 9%. The same study found that mentoring increased promotion and retention rates for minorities and women by 15%.
Give & Getters are valuable resources for any early-career professional. Their input is maximized in the context of mentorship in underrepresented communities.
Participating in community-driven mentorship
There’s a lack of mentors in the world: research shows that 76% of people think mentors are valuable, yet only 37% have access to one.
As a Give & Getter, you can become a contributor in the mentorship economy while also gaining skills and experience that help you advance your career.
Mentor Spaces is the mentorship community that facilitates conversations between people in the know – like you – and underrepresented and early-career professionals. We help make workplaces more diverse and inclusive by facilitating mentorship among employees and prospective candidates, and make it easier for companies to attract, hire and retain underrepresented talent.
We’re always looking for more mentors like you. If you’re focused on helping others and growing yourself, sign up to become a mentor today.